Climate change represents one of the most urgent issues of our time. To help mitigate climate change, Ontario is proposing to implement the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-Carbon Economy Act, 2016 (the Bill). The Bill intends to establish a long-term framework for climate action. It would provide a strong foundation for Ontario’s cap and trade program, and require regular action plans that set out actions under a regulatory scheme designed to modify behaviour that will enable Ontario to achieve its targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas.
By taking action now, Ontario’s households and communities, infrastructure, agricultural resources, natural areas and ecosystems, including the Great Lakes and the boreal forest, will be better protected for the benefit and enjoyment of all. Ontario will also be well positioned to take advantage of the low-carbon economy through local job creation, an expanding low carbon technology sector and other global economic opportunities.
All Ontarians have a role to play in addressing climate change, including understanding how Ontarians contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and changing their behaviour to reduce those emissions.
The Government of Ontario believes that the public interest requires a broad effort to reduce greenhouse gas and to build a cleaner and more prosperous Province. The Government intends to involve and engage individuals, businesses, communities, municipalities, non-governmental organizations and First Nation and Métis communities in the ultimate goal of fostering a high productivity, low-carbon economy and society in Ontario.
First Nation and Métis communities have a special relationship with the environment and are deeply connected spiritually and culturally to the land, water, air and animals. They may offer their traditional ecological knowledge as the Government of Ontario develops specific actions.
The Government of Ontario cannot address this challenge alone. As a leading sub-national jurisdiction, Ontario intends to participate in the international response to reduce greenhouse gas by establishing a carbon price. Through the cap and trade program, this Act establishes a broad carbon price that is intended to change the behaviour of everyone across the Province, including spurring low-carbon innovation. A cap and trade program in Ontario will allow Ontario to link to other regional cap and trade markets.
In addition to the carbon price signal and to further support the reduction of greenhouse gas, the Government of Ontario intends to pursue complementary actions that will support and promote the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Enabled and supported by the cap and trade program and these actions, the Government of Ontario envisions, by 2050, a thriving society generating fewer or zero greenhouse gas emissions. Businesses and innovators will be creating world-leading low-carbon technologies and products that drive new economic growth, productivity and job creation. Ontarians will live, work and travel in sustainable ways in healthier and more liveable communities.
Ontario has met with over 700 stakeholders on cap and trade, including industries, associations, environmental organizations, and labour groups. The Government will continue to involve and engage individuals, businesses, communities, municipalities, non-governmental organizations and First Nation and Métis communities in the ultimate goal of fostering a high-productivity low-carbon economy and society in Ontario.
With this proposed Bill, Ontario will reduce its reduce greenhouse gas pollution and invest proceeds from cap and trade to benefit Ontario’s families and businesses, through activities such as energy retrofits to help households and businesses use less fuel and electricity ..